Sunday Leftovers

There is no teacher shortage in New Jersey.

Speaking of teachers, the Asbury Park Press reports on N.J. teachers' "diversity gap":
In public school classrooms across New Jersey, students and their teachers are looking less and less alike.
The state’s teaching force remains mostly white despite a growing number of minority students, an Asbury Park Press analysis found. Minorities made up more than half of the student body last year, up from 45 percent six years ago. Even still, only 15.6 percent of certified teachers were nonwhite — a slight uptick from 14.4 percent six years ago, state data showed.
The diversity gap between students and their teachers is only widening in some communities: Counties are seeing significant surges of minority students while hiring levels for diverse teachers remain largely stagnant.
The Record interviews Montclair Interim Superintendent Roland Bolandi, specifically about the fact that every one of the 506 teachers in the districts was ranked either "highly effective" or "effective."

The Star-Ledger reports that " New Jersey last year was one of 18 states awarded a federal Preschool Development Grant, which it says it used to expand preschool offerings for more than 2,300 children in 19 communities.But the $250 million grant program, including $17.5 million annually to New Jersey, could be eliminated as part of spending reductions proposed in the House and Senate, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said."

The N.J. Legislature voted to count American Sign Language as a world language for the purpose of high school graduation requirements.

The blogger at New Jersey Education Aid uses Jersey City as an example of how N.J.'s school funding formula is broken:
Life is good for Mayor Steve Fulop of Jersey City.  Not only is his city doing so well that he can pull off that miraculous trick of governance of expanding services AND cutting taxes, but his own personal life is going great too, purchasing a townhouse in the Heights for $739,000 with his girlfriend.
The house has old-fashioned charm, three bedrooms, and a fantastic view of Jersey City and the NYC skyline.  Maybe best of all, it's total tax bill is only $7,700 a year!  Sweet!  Steve Fulop does not have children, but if he did they would get "free" Pre-K just for living in Jersey City too.  Sweet!
ICYMI, here's NJSBA's reading of the recent PERC decision on what it means for Chapter 78, the health and pension benefits reform law, to "sunset."